BMX for Life

The BMX for Life project seeks to understand how BMX riding can contribute to a person’s personal and social wellbeing as well as creativity.

This study is propelled by a critical imperative to understand and bolster the mental health and creative development of young people who may feel isolated and marginalised within traditional sports and more broadly education. Engaging in BMX not only empowers young individuals with a profound sense of agency and belonging but it also serves as a powerful medium for self-expression and creative exploration.

This research project embarks on a novel journey, delving into the uncharted territory of how riding BMX contributes to mental wellbeing and fosters creativity, especially in the context of dirt jump construction and riding. By forging this crucial link between BMX, creativity, and mental health, this project strives to lay a foundation of knowledge for the community to use as it sees fit. Finally, this new knowledge will support targeted BMX centric programs for mental health and creativity as well as promote participation in BMX riding.

BMX for Life Community Report

The BMX for Life community report goes beyond its function as providing information. It's a testament to the importance of fostering community, personal growth, and cultivating a collective identity within the Australian BMX scene. By providing a comprehensive, accessible, and accurate snapshot of the present BMX landscape, this report gives a voice to the individuals who contribute actively to the growth and evolution of the sport they hold dear.

Meet the Team

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Dr Dave Camilleri

Chief Investigator

Dr Dave Camilleri has been a BMX rider for 29 years and has been immersed in BMX trail scene for decades both in Australia and Europe. Dave dropped out of high school but returned to study Philosophy and Linguistics as a mature age student. Upon leaving university Dave worked as secondary school teacher before starting a PhD investigating creativity in disengaged adolescents within formal schooling. He is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Education. His teaching and research interests are in youth studies, wellbeing, and creativity…and BMX!
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Dr Richard Sallis

Co-Chief Investigator

Dr. Richard Sallis is a senior lecturer and authority regarding gender, sexualities, and youth in various educational and community contexts. His particular area of expertise is in the performance and expression of multiple masculinities in young males and how they express their creativity. His research and publications also include equity, access, diversity, and inclusion regarding young people and also the links between youth culture (and sub-cultures) and identity formation.

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Dr Ruth Williams

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Ruth Williams is a social researcher with many years of experience managing research projects across disciplines and in collaboration with industry partners and organisational case studies from domestic and international government, university, and private sectors. Ruth has been an educator for 25 years and her qualitative research focuses on ageing across the lifespan, equity, and access to health and education services.

Mental Health Experts

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Associate Professor Jon Quach

Associate Professor Jon Quach is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Education and senior research fellow at the Royal Childrens Hospital's Centre for Community Child Health. His overarching research agenda focuses on the health and education interface. He conducts large scale, efficacy and effectiveness randomised controlled trials of promising interventions to understand their impact and implementation when scaled. He also leads a number of projects which aim to evaluate policy initiatives that aim to improve outcomes for all students during the primary school years.

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Dr Chelsea Hyde

Dr Chelsea Hyde is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Education and course coordinator of the Master of Educational Psychology program. Chelsea is an endorsed Educational and Developmental Psychologist with more than fifteen years practical experience working as a school psychologist within independent school systems in Victoria and Queensland across both regional and metropolitan areas.

BMX rider airborne over a dirt jump

In the News


image credits: Chris Flagz Matthews & Tyson Peni Jones